A few weeks ago, I watched a spotted fawn browsing across the lower yard with two does. This young one was very playful, stopping to inspect something in the driveway, sniffing the mailbox, wandering into the middle of the road to eat a fallen leaf. They moved up the hill by the side of the house. Little fawn approached the porch where I was standing. He was fearless! Then mama gave a "MOO" (what a shock, to hear a deer sound like a cow!) and off they went trotting into the brush. We didn't see them for a while, and I worried that a cougar or coyote might have eaten the fawn for a snack.
This morning, something charging down the back hill caught Sis' attention. She and I watched an interplay between two young bucks, one doe and the fawn who is getting long and lanky. The adults are grey, the fawn is an orangy brown and losing his spots.... (It could be a female, but oh, so inquisitive- I've dubbed him "Curious George.")
Curious George approached one of the bucks. They were nose to nose. The buck didn't like it. The fawn persisted. The buck smacked George with his head and George backed off. Then the fawn went for a rear inspection. The buck seemed to resent having a fawn nosing his tail end, whirled around and lashed out with a front leg. I'm quite sure he connected.
Undaunted, Curious George tried to cozy up to the other buck, who also was having none of it. Nose-to-nose and then WHACK! CG got hit with another hoof. The female wandered in one direction, the two bucks and CG went the other. I wondered if they were annoyed with this youngster hanging around.
Sis and I ran to the opposite side of the house to watch. The fawn must have heard us. He kept looking in our direction, getting closer and closer. I was thinking, "Little one, your curiosity may get you into trouble!" Hope not. Last minute he changed his mind and frisked up the hill after the disappearing bucks.
I figured it was a gift, getting to see wildlife in action right outside the window. A nice start to a cool, breezy day in the mountains of Tennessee.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
................The pictures were taken on a section of the Appalachian Trail bordering Tennesee and North Carolina. Because the native deer populaton has decreased, domestic long-hair goats are being used to graze on encroaching Canadian blackberry bushes in an attempt to keep the bald mountains open. Information is available at this site http://baatanygoatproject.blogspot.com/ regarding the Project for Grassy Bald Restoration. Blueberries and blackberries are still ripe. Hiking 6,000 feet above sea level seemed rigorous, at least I blamed my fatigue on the higher altitude. The vista was also breath-taking!